Courtesy of Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni
For many couples, a honeymoon will be the most lavish trip they ever take. Which is why it's so important to get everything you can out of your post-wedding vacation. We talked to two honeymoon planning experts to find out the best ways to stretch your honeymoon buck.
Related: 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Planning Your Honeymoon
Jen Avey, the vice president of marketing for Destination Weddings Travel Group, says you can save a little extra money by booking your honeymoon at an all-inclusive resort. "Typically, bundling your hotel stay with your airfare is a money-saver for all travel, but when you tack on the idea that all of your meals, drinks, activities, and entertainment are also included in one up-front price, you're really getting the most bang for your buck," she says.
Avey adds that many all-inclusive resorts roll out the red carpet for honeymooners to ensure they're really getting the most out of their trip. Sometimes these extra amenities include room upgrades, romantic dinners, private check-in, exclusive butler service, and much more if you know where to look. "Working with an expert travel agent who specializes in romantic vacations is a great start, and oftentimes, their services are free, so there's really no harm in seeing what they can get you," she says.
Plan for Excursions
Most of the time, prebooking excursions can save you money in the long run, Avery explains. "Not only is prebooking your excursion a money saver, but also a time-saver once you're at your resort," she says. "When you take care of all your booking before you arrive, you get to spend more time enjoying your new spouse and the resort, and less time waiting in long lines to book add-ons. Having everything prepared ahead of time maximizes your budget and your time."
Kylie Carlson of the International Academy of Wedding & Event Planning adds that some resorts will allow you to bundle your excursions in as part of your inclusive package. This allows you to pay them off as part of your installment plan, which can be a cheaper option instead of paying with high interest credit cards when you arrive.
Take Advantage of the Off-Season or Less Desirable Dates
Avey says that booking your honeymoon trip during your destination's off-season may seem unappealing, but it may be a great way to maximize your budget. "If honeymooning in Mexico or the Caribbean islands, prices are at their lowest during the summer and fall months—the most popular time to get married in the United States—so it's a win-win situation," she says.
Carlson agrees and adds that you may even be able to get a better deal on airfare by not leaving the day following your wedding. "Take a look at airfare and accommodations on the dates surrounding your projected travel," she says. "You may be surprised, it's actually common for prices to dip considerably on a weekday or even in the week before or after your desired vacation days. If shifting your schedule around means that you'll be saving a considerable chunk of change, it's worth it."